EU sends half of its firefighting fleet to Greece

Thu, 31 Aug 2023 9:10 GMT
The European Union (EU) announced that it has sent half of its firefighting planes and helicopters to Greece to combat the forest fires that have broken out there.
EU sends half of its firefighting fleet to Greece

The spokesperson for the EU Commission stated that the fire in Dadia National Park is the largest forest fire recorded in the EU. As Greece continues to battle the fires, the EU also provides support with 407 firefighters.

The EU dispatched half of its firefighting fleet, including planes and helicopters, to Greece. Brussels announced that the fire in this country is the largest forest fire ever recorded in the EU. The spokesperson for the EU Commission, Balazs Ujvari, stated in a press release in Brussels that the EU has mobilized almost half of its firefighting planes and helicopters to extinguish the fire in Dadia National Park near Didymoteicho. According to the spokesperson, 11 firefighting planes and one helicopter have already been sent to Greece. In addition, 407 firefighters from the EU are also providing support to their Greek colleagues in the fight against the fires.

Fire in Dadia remains uncontained

The battle against this large fire has been ongoing for 12 days. According to Greek officials, the fire in Dadia National Park, home to predatory birds and other animals, has not yet been brought under control as of today. The fire is reported to continue along a ten-kilometer line. Currently, 475 firefighters, hundreds of firefighting vehicles, six firefighting planes, and four helicopters are working to extinguish the fires in the area.

Officials reported that a total of 810 square kilometers of land has burned in Dadia Forest so far, which is larger than the area covered by New York City. EU aims to expand its firefighting fleet

The EU's firefighting fleet consists of 24 planes and four helicopters. These aircraft and helicopters were contributed by member states to the Union and are used in wildfires within EU member countries. Brussels plans to add 12 more planes or helicopters to the firefighting fleet. The financing and readiness of these aircraft and helicopters by the EU are expected to be completed by 2030.

EU Commission spokesperson Ujvari mentioned, "We know that the fires are getting worse," referring to the need for the expansion of the firefighting fleet. Janez Lenarcic, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, stated that sending equipment to countries affected by forest fires demonstrates the effort to take swift and effective joint measures during crisis periods.

Greece has experienced numerous large forest fires this year, some of which have resulted in fatalities. The bodies of 19 refugees, including children, were found in the Dadia forest area. A total of 12,000 hectares of land have been burned since the beginning of the year. The Greek government highlights that these fires are a result of global climate change. In addition to the fire in Dadia National Park in the northeast of the country, the fire near Mount Parnita north of Athens also raises concerns. 260 firefighters, 77 firefighting vehicles, and a helicopter are continuing to battle the fire in the region known as "the lungs of Athens."

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